RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Officials say South Dakota is facing a shortage of nurses at a time when they are needed most. Stress, long hours and fear of infection during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have caused more nurses than usual to leave the field, move to other states or retire early.
From 2015 to 2016, about 1,700 registered nurses left South Dakota. Last year, more than 2,500 nurses dropped out of the state workforce.
The state higher-education system has not produced enough nursing graduates to keep up with demand, and educators are scrambling to find ways to lure more students.